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Buhari to Launch Integrated Financing Framework for Sustainable Development

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By Adedapo Adesanya

President Muhammadu Buhari will, on Friday, September 23, 2022, launch Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) for Sustainable Development on the margins of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) in New York.

This was disclosed by Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, in a statement.

Proposed within the broader Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the INFF is a planning and delivery tool to finance sustainable development at the national level.

The integrated financing framework helps policymakers lay out a strategy to increase investments for sustainable development, manage financial and non-financial risks, and achieve sustainable development priorities. While a country’s national development plan spells out what needs to be financed, the INFF shows how it will be financed and implemented.

For Nigeria, the INFF is also expected to help in the recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as help address the lack of an integrated approach to financing SDGs, which has been a key challenge to meeting the financing requirement, estimated at $100 billion over the next 10 years.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development presents an ambitious, complex and interconnected vision that countries around the world have committed to working towards. Realizing this vision will require the mobilisation of a diverse range of public and private resources.

The INFF is a tool to help countries strengthen planning processes and overcome existing impediments to financing sustainable development at the national level.

It helps governments and their partners to build more integrated approaches to financing that strengthen the alignment between public and private investments and longer-term sustainable development objectives and build greater coherency across the governance of public and private financing policies.

Nigeria committed to being a champion of INFF and officially kicked off the design process as an INFF pioneer country in 2020.

To steer the implementation process, Nigeria set up the INFF Steering Committee chaired by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (MFBNP), represented by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, the Director General of the Debt Management Office, and the Statistician-General of the National Bureau of Statistics.

Others are the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, the UN Resident Coordinator, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, the Head of Development Cooperation of the European Union mission, the Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund, the Country Director for the World Bank, and the Co-Chair of the Private Sector Advisory Group.

Expected at the launch are some Heads of Government, the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Mrs Amina J. Mohammed and representatives from countries and international organisations.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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SERAP Drags FG to Court over $23m Abacha Loot

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By Adedapo Adesanya

A suit has been filed against the federal government by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over the recently recovered $23 million looted by ex-Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

In a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the group is asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari and Mr Abubakar Malami to release and widely publish a copy of the agreement on the Abacha loot with the US.”

In a statement on Sunday by SERAP Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is joined in the suit as respondent.

The United States government had in August signed an agreement with the federal government to repatriate the $23 million Abacha loot to Nigeria. It was in addition to the $311.7 million Abacha loot repatriated from the US to Nigeria in 2020.

“The Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations impose transparency obligations on the Federal Government to widely publish the agreement on the $23 million Abacha loot,” SERAP argued in the suit.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement with the U.S. would allow Nigerians to scrutinise it, and to monitor the spending of the repatriated loot to ensure that the money is not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.

“The repatriated $23 million Abacha loot is vulnerable to corruption and mismanagement. A substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 may have been mismanaged, diverted, or re-stolen, and in any case remain unaccounted for.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement would ensure that persons with public responsibilities are answerable to the people for the performance of their duties, including the management of repatriated loot,” SERAP said.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Atinuke Adejuyigbe, said the Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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Lagos to Severely Punish Those Behind Mushin Collapsed Building

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The owner of the building that collapsed in the Mushin area of Lagos State and others would be “severely punished,” the state government has promised.

On Friday, it was reported that a 3-storey building on 2/4 Oye Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos collapsed, killing four people and injuring others.

In a statement issued yesterday, the new Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the state government would go after whoever is indicted in the incident, hinting that an investigation has commenced to unravel what happened.

During a visit to the scene of the unfortunate incident, the Commissioner directed that the adjoining building be pulled down for safety reasons, adding that efforts are on to rescue those who might have been trapped in the rubble.

He disclosed that the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory have been directed to unravel the cause of the collapse.

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NNPC Opens Talk with Financers on Gas Projects

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has established talks with the United States Finance Corporation and the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) to seek financing for its multi-billion-dollar gas projects.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this at the Nigerian International Economic Partnership held in New York as part of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Mr Kyari said: “Inclusion (in energy transition) means we need to be supported. We are already talking to the US DFC, and the EXIM so that they can give us financing and funding for our gas projects, and this is very critical so that we can have that flexibility to move forward and at the back of this.

“I’m sure some of you may be aware that today, we are getting a grant to build baseline carbon emission studies in our country by the United States Government. This is very helpful in the sense that President Muhammadu Buhari, has also asked that we need to be supported. Currently, the major source of financing we are having is from the African Exim.”

Nigeria’s transition to net zero by 2060 requires enormous investments in gas projects which have been positioned as the country’s major transition fuel.

Mr Kyari said Nigeria is looking for opportunities to leverage the gas resources in the country to provide the possibility required for the energy transition.

It will cost $410 billion to transit, according to the federal government, and huge gas projects like the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NNPC, ECOWAS Commission, and Morocco to deliver pipelines along the African corridor will gulp billions of dollars.

“We are embarking on massive infrastructure and to see how we can deliver the Morocco gas pipeline which will pass through some countries to provide a number of securities including bringing people out of poverty and increasing gas supply in the domestic market,” Mr Kyari said.

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